Catch up on the full story of last weeks NEWS...........
*John Walker –
As a young boy John was fined for damaging a bucket at Spital. There are two other reports of a John Walker living at Spital and his scrapes with the law, whether it is the same John I am not sure -
One a few years later in June of 1882 when a youth named John Walker, a labourer of Spital was accused of throwing stones at a young lad named Henry Baskill. Henry’s mother had complained to Superintendent Carline when, as her son looked over a wall at John Walker, he was struck by a large stone in the chest. John said he was clearing clay away from the footpath and the incident was no more than an accident. Being the local officer Superintendent Carline knew John and his family and told the courts how John and his brother were being complained about every week by the local residents. He said they damaged hedges, walls and garden produce. Taking this into account John was found guilty and fined 11s 6d including costs.
Two years on and in May of 1884 John was again in trouble for poaching at Spital. P.C Brenchley had been watching land at Spital on Sunday 20th April when he saw John and two other youths; Henry Miles and Samuel Cooper and a dog go along Spital Lane into Hady Wood. Once in the wood the lads took a stick out and started beating the hedge for game, skirting around the edge of wood as they went. They also laid snares. P.C Brenchley was observed by the poachers and they lay on the ground, Samuel Cooper covered the dog with his coat to try to avoid detection. P.C Brenchley had already spotted them and asked what they were doing there. John Walker replied that they had permission from Mr Jeudwine. On emptying their pockets more snares were found. The three defendants all pleaded not guilty and even the dog stood trial – he was seen to be “a most harmless character”. As John had been previously convicted he was fined £1 plus costs, but Samuel and Henry were said to have excellent characters from their employees and the charges against them were withdrawn.
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*Inspector Handley –
Inspector Handley was mentioned in the news after arresting George Fox for riding without reigns in Clay Cross in October 1876.
His full name was William Handley and he was born at Moira, Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire around the end of 1840 – beginning of 1841. His parents were John and Ann Handley. John was originally from Stretton, Derbyshire and worked as an engineer / engine wright.
William started out on his career as a Police Officer at a young age; by 1861 aged 20 he is living at Derby and is on the first rung of the ladder as a Police Constable. The first mention we find of William at work is in May 1863 when he arrested Thomas Millers at Marsden Moor, Staveley for begging. Thomas was gaoled for one month for vagrancy.
By 1871 William has been promoted to Sergeant, he is 30 years old and back living in Leicestershire at the Odd Fellows New Constabulary, Ashby De La Zouch. His wife Emma and a daughter are residing with him and just one prisoner is in the cells that night; George Fisher a 25 year old railway labourer.
In 1881 he is living with his wife Emma and one daughter Lizzie Cooper at Market Street, Clay Cross. The family employed one servant Emma Fletcher. The household also listed some more names – the prisoners who were in custody at the Police House on the night of the census in 1881 –
James Green 23 years old of Belfast, Ireland
William Westwood 28 years old of Coventry
John Down 63 years old of Basford, Notts
Thomas Finney 34 years old of Galway, Ireland
All of the men were coal miners.
In July of 1887 William has put all his possessions up for sale. His reason for sale is recorded; that he is leaving the area, however in 1891 William has not moved far – he is no longer a Police Officer but is now the publican at the Prince of Wales Inn on Thanet Street in Clay Cross. His goods for sale in 1887 include a case with a stuffed dog, family bible, pictorial atlas of the world, 4 feather beds, 3 time pieces, numerous mahogany pieces of furniture, cane furniture, 4 wash-stands, 4 feather beds, 2 iron French bedsteads. William seems to have acquired a good standard of living from his career in the Police force.
William died on 20th June 1894. He was still working as an Inn Keeper at Clay Cross. His estate went to probate on 31st July that year. He left £242 8s 9d to his widow Emma and Robert Longmate a butcher. His death was announced in the Derbyshire Times of 23rd June 1894 stating that he was 53 years old and for many years had been a member of the Derbyshire Constabulary. He was interred at Clay Cross on Sunday 24th June 1894.
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